NHL Power Rankings: Red-Hot Hurricanes Right Behind Bruins for Top Place | News, results, highlights, stats and rumours

NHL Power Rankings: Red-Hot Hurricanes Right Behind Bruins for Top Place

0 out of 6

    BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 25: Matt Grzelcyk #48 of the Boston Bruins skates against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period at TD Garden on November 25, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts.  The Bruins won 3-2 in overtime and set a new NHL record for most consecutive home wins to start a season with 12. (Photo: Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

    Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

    The king is safe. But his court is in some disarray.

    The Boston Bruins have continued their dominant merry-go-round through the first two-thirds of December, improving to 25-4-2 through 31 games and maintaining the league lead in points, scoring percentage, goal differential and home ice record.

    So it’s no surprise that they’re atop B/R’s Power Rankings for a sixth straight week on the strength of four out of five first-place votes from the writing panel.

    But the look of the top five as a whole is changing.

    The Carolina Hurricanes, who finished the rankings week atop the Metropolitan Division, jump four spots from sixth thanks to a lopsided first-place vote and four seconds. They are one spot ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who finished second last week but moved up a spot this week while getting third-place nods from all five voters.

    Meanwhile, the Vegas Golden Knights and Pittsburgh Penguins at four and five replace the Winnipeg Jets (up four from No. 8) and the New Jersey Devils (down two from No. 3).

    Our panel awarded 32 points for first place and one point for 32nd when coming up with the weekly list. A team’s ranking from the previous week and its subsequent moves are listed next to each updated position. Scroll through to see where your favorites ended up, and drop a thought or two of your own in the comments.

No. 32-26: Ducks, Blackhawks, Blue Jackets, Sharks, Flyers, Coyotes, Canucks

1 out of 6

    SAN JOSE, CA - DECEMBER 18: San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl (48) falls on top of Calgary Flames right wing Blake Coleman (20) during the second period of an NHL regular season hockey game between the Calgary Flames and the San Jose Sharks December 18, 2022 at the SAP Center, in San Jose, CA.  (Photo by Tony Ding/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Tony Ding/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    32. Anaheim Ducks (Last week: 32 / Move: 0)

    The Ducks ended last week on a particularly ugly note with a 7-0 loss to Toronto, but bounced back with back-to-back wins in Montreal and Edmonton before ending the trip with a loss in Los Angeles.

    31. Chicago Blackhawks (Last week: 31 / Move: 0)

    We’re barely more than a week into the new year, and the Blackhawks (ouch!) have won a total of three times since the beginning of November, and lost seven straight since December 3rd.

    30. Columbus Blue Jackets (Last week: 30 / Move: 0)

    If not for the Blackhawks, it would have been the Blue Jackets who took the “honor” of being the league’s coldest team by five games. Columbus has seven goals in a row and is 28th in the league in scoring average.

    29. San Jose Sharks (last week: 29 / moves: 0)

    Prolific forward Tomáš Hertl will miss another game after being sidelined for two games, without pay, after picking up a penalty during Sunday’s 5-2 defeat. He has 11 goals and 21 assists in 33 games.

    28. Philadelphia Flyers (Last week: 27 / Move: -1)

    The Flyers had a moderately positive week with two wins in three games — including a 5-3 loss to visiting Columbus — after a horrendous 2-11-5 stretch. Still, Philadelphia is 29th in the league in scoring.

    27. Arizona Coyotes (Last Week: 28 / Move: +1)

    The Coyotes opened a three-game homestand with a 5-4 defeat of the New York Islanders before dropping consecutive games to visit Buffalo and Montreal (in overtime).

    26. Vancouver Canucks (last week: 24 / move: -2)

    Assuming the Canucks don’t become a major factor in the playoff chase, TSN insider Darren Dreger expects trade talk to increase around Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser and Tyler Myers.

No. 25-21: Senators, Predators, Canadiens, Blues, Panthers

2 out of 6

    SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 20: Pavel Buchnevich #89 of the St. Louis Blues celebrates his goal on the bench during the third period of a game against the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena on December 20, 2022 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images

    25. Ottawa Senators (Last week: 26 / Move: +1)

    The Senators had won four straight before dropping consecutive decisions to Minnesota and Winnipeg. Off the ice, they extended defenseman Artem Zub for four years and $18.4 million.

    24. Nashville Predators (last week: 22 / move: -2)

    The Predators had gone 0-4-2 in six games — including a 6-3 loss to Edmonton — before defeating the Oilers in OT Monday night. They haven’t won two straight in regulation since November 15 and 17.

    23. Montréal Canadiens (last week: 19 / draw: -4)

    Center Anthony Richard made his Montreal debut on Monday against Arizona and recorded two shots in nearly 11 minutes of ice time. He was drafted by Nashville in 2015 and signed as a free agent in July.

    22. St. Louis Blues (Last week: 25 / Move: +3)

    The up-and-down Blues won four straight to get back above .500 before falling back to 16-16-1 with a 5-2 loss to Seattle on Tuesday. A goal in that game got Pavel Buchnevich to 100 points with St. Louis.

    21. Florida Panthers (last week: 21 / moves: 0)

    The Panthers shed a defenseman (Michael Del Zotto) and picked up a winger (Givani Smith) in a three-team trade with Anaheim and Detroit. Smith, 24, was a second-round pick of the Red Wings in 2016.

No. 20-16: Red Wings, Sabres, Flames, Oilers, Islanders

3 out of 6

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 19: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen #1 of the Buffalo Sabers is seen during the third period against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on December 19, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images

    20. Detroit Red Wings (last week: 17 / move: -3)

    The Red Wings welcomed former coach Jeff Blashill back to town Wednesday for the first time since he was fired after winning 204 games in seven seasons. He is now an assistant in Tampa Bay.

    19. Buffalo Sabers (last week 23 / move: +4)

    The Sabers have won four straight, including three on the road in Colorado, Arizona and Vegas. Goalkeeper Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 80 of 84 shots against the Avalanche and Golden Knights.

    18. Calgary Flames (Last week: 20 / Move: +2)

    The Flames scored twice in the first 30 seconds of a blitz in San Jose on Tuesday. Two straight wins after five straight losses have included two goals and three points from 34-year-old winger Milan Lucic.

    17. Edmonton Oilers (last week: 16 / draw: -1)

    GM Ken Holland has taken heat for the Oilers’ struggles, which included a three-game skid heading into Wednesday at Dallas. “I think that’s the beautiful part of playing in Canada,” he told Sportsnet.

    16. New York Islanders (Last week: 12 / Move: -4)

    The latest loss came in OT, but it remains four of five games for New York, which is 3-5-1 in December after going 10-5 in November. GM Lou Lamoriello is still “very happy” with where things stand.

No. 15-11: Capitals, Kings, Avalanche, Rangers, Wild

4 out of 6

    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 20: Pheonix Copley #29 of the Los Angeles Kings in goal against the Anaheim Ducks in the first period at Crypto.com Arena on December 20, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    15. Washington Capitals (Last week: 15 / Move: 0)

    The guard for goal No. 801 for Alex Ovechkin moves to Ottawa Thursday night after he was held scoreless in an OT win over Detroit on Monday. Washington is at home Friday against Winnipeg.

    14. Los Angeles Kings (Last Week: 18 / Move: +4)

    Journeyman goaltender Pheonix Copley has won three straight starts and five of six for the Kings since veteran Cal Petersen was waived and sent to the AHL with a 3.75 goals-against average over 10 games.

    13. Colorado Avalanche (last week: 11 / moves: -2)

    Nathan MacKinnon was back at practice, albeit in a non-contact role, on Tuesday as his time on the bench since a Dec. 5 injury crossed two weeks. He had 34 points in 23 games before the injury.

    12. New York Rangers (Last week: 13 / Move: +1)

    The Rangers’ seven-game winning streak finally came to an end Tuesday night when they dropped a 3-2 decision at Pittsburgh. New York allowed just 14 goals in the wins while scoring 33.

    11. Minnesota Wild (Last week: 14 / Move: +3)

    The Wild went 4-0 at home to stretch their winning streak to five before embarking on a three-game road trip that included a Wednesday stop in Anaheim and will also include visits to San Jose and Winnipeg.

No. 10-6: Kraken, Lightning, Penguins, Golden Knights, Stars

5 out of 6

    BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 05: Vegas Golden Knights center Michael Amadio (22) shoots in warmups before a game between the Boston Bruins and the Vegas Golden Knights on December 5, 2022, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    10. Seattle Kraken (Last Week: 10 / Move: 0)

    The Kraken gave most of their gains during a seven-game winning streak back in a consecutive 1-5 skid, but they have righted the ship with back-to-back home losses to Winnipeg and St. Louis.

    9. Tampa Bay Lightning (Last Week: 7 / Move: -2)

    A five-game winning streak was halted in Toronto by a 4-1 loss that no one on the team liked. “It was a complete game, I’ll tell you that,” coach Jon Cooper said. “A whole bag of you know what.”

    8. Pittsburgh Penguins (last week: 5 / move: -3)

    The month of December continues to be a good one for the Penguins, who remained red-hot with a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers and improved to 8-1 since the calendar reached 2022’s final month.

    7. Vegas Golden Knights (last week: 4 / draw: -3)

    The continued absence of Jack Eichel has created a first-line opportunity for Michael Amadio, who had an assist in 19 shifts of ice time in Monday’s loss to Buffalo. Eichel has not played since December 9.

    6. Dallas Stars (Last Week: 9 / Move: +3)

    Striker Denis Gurianov will be unavailable for the time being after being on leave for family reasons. He had 11 goals and 31 points in 2021-22, but has just five points in 25 games this season.

No. 5-1: Devils, Jets, Maple Leafs, Hurricanes, Bruins

6 out of 6

    WINNIPEG, CANADA - DECEMBER 20: Kyle Connor #81 of the Winnipeg Jets celebrates his second period goal against the Ottawa Senators with teammates on the bench at the Canada Life Center on December 20, 2022 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  (Photo by Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images

    5. New Jersey Devils (last week: 3 / draw: -2)

    The first extended setback of the season finally came for the Devils, who lost five times in 28 games before losing four straight, getting outscored 14-5 in the process and falling out of first place.

    4. Winnipeg Jets (Last week: 8 / Move: +4)

    Kyle Connor and Josh Morrissey have double-digit scoring streaks after each scoring Tuesday night against Ottawa. The pair have eight goals and 22 assists in the combined 10 games.

    3. Toronto Maple Leafs (last week: 2 / draw: -1)

    A 4-1 rout of Tampa Bay lifted the Maple Leafs to 5-2-1 in December heading into a Thursday afternoon date with Philadelphia that precedes trips to St. Louis, Arizona and Colorado.

    2. Carolina Hurricanes (Last week: 6 / Move: +4)

    The crown as the league’s hottest team goes to the Hurricanes, whose winning streak extended to six with a 4-1 defeat of New Jersey that also pushed them into first place in the Metropolitan Division.

    1. Boston Bruins (Last week: 1 / Move: 0)

    Maybe it will just stay that simple for the Bruins, who are 4-0-1 in their last five games, haven’t lost in regulation since Dec. 9 and have just six non-wins in 31 games. “They’re good leaders and they know how to win,” coach Jim Montgomery said. “All the different ways we’ve won, it shows, so I’ve developed the ability to let them control a lot of what happens.”

    Sstatistics accurate through Tuesday, December 20.

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